A Q&A With B.T.’s Smokehouse

April 29, 2024

B.T.’s Smokehouse is a culinary gem that has been serving up amazing BBQ since 2007. From its humble beginnings in a trailer at the Brimfield Antique Show to its current bustling location on Main St., B.T.’s has grown into a beloved institution for both locals and visitors alike. In this exclusive Q&A, we sat down with Brian, the owner of B.T.’s Smokehouse to discover how the restaurant got its start and learn what delicious meals visitors can expect when they visit. There’s a reason it was named the #1 BBQ Joint in New England!

Q: Can you tell us the story behind B.T.’s Smokehouse? How long have you been open?

A: I started cooking professionally when I was 15, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2002, and have cooked in fine dining restaurants on both coasts of the country.  However, BBQ has always been a passion of mine. I started B.T.’s out of a trailer at the Brimfield Antique Show in May 2007. Originally the trailer was just going to be a side hustle while I cooked in a restaurant somewhere, but I had so much fun, and it seemed to go well that I then moved to Village Green Campground on Route 20 in Brimfield year-round. In January 2010, we opened at the current location on Main St. in Sturbridge. We started with three booths, four counter seats and a staff of three. We have expanded the dining room to 40 seats, standing room for 20 and five outdoor picnic tables. Plus, the team has grown to almost 20 full-time employees.

Q: What can visitors expect when they visit B.T.’s Smokehouse?

A: The smell is the first thing you’ll notice when pulling up to B.T.’s. We cook all our BBQ meats with local hickory and cherry woods in one of our three smokers. As you enter the restaurant that smell continues, and we hope you feel comfortable in our cozy space. We are BYOB and you can often find a line of folks waiting to order at our “Brisket Bar” with a can of one of their favorite craft beers they brought with them from one of the many local breweries in the area. B.T.’s smokehouse has counter service, and the line moves quickly, but it’s a good place to make some friends and chat about BBQ, beer, and where you are from. Besides that, we strive to make some of the tastiest, consistent BBQ and fun sides you’ve ever had.

Q: What are your favorite items on the menu?

A: This has changed quite a bit over the years. Besides the occasional bite of one of our BBQ meats as I walk through the restaurant, I have gone from the Bison Burger to our BBQ burrito, then the Reuben, and these days I don’t think I can pass a piece of fried chicken without my mouth starting to water looking at that crispy, juicy piece of boneless chicken.

Q: What is your mission?

A: I started out wanting to be one of those BBQ joints like you find down south that has a line from the time they open until they run out of food at some point during the day. However, we’ve become a very comfortable soul food restaurant with a crew that has become a family. My mission has become about providing a place and feeling of home that warms your soul and makes you feel happy.

Q: What does being a part of the Sturbridge community mean to you?

The Sturbridge area has really embraced what we do. I am proud to be part of the area and Central Mass. in general. This area has a lot to offer folks and families, and I’ve enjoyed having my kids grow up here.  We have a strong business community and a great diversity of restaurants. It is great to drive through town and see all the parking lots full on a regular basis.

Q: What are your favorite places to visit or things to do in Sturbridge when you’re not at the restaurant?

I enjoy going out to the restaurants in town. I am all for someone else being responsible for cooking when I don’t have to. I am also really excited these days about the markets we have in town. Visiting Sebastian at G&R Fish, or Mike and Laurie at Tutti Quanti, and the new little Brazilian market GOL has a great meat selection and I’m looking forward to getting stuff there this summer to throw on the grill at home.

Click here to learn more about B.T.’s Smokehouse and all the amazing BBQ they have to offer!